Safety Tip: Riding Strategy

Have you ever thought about your riding strategy? A strategy is a framework for making decisions about how you will ride. Before you jump in the saddle of your bike, there are some basic strategies to consider.

First, is your equipment; both bike and gear. I’ve talked about T-CLOCS (tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis, stand) and the importance of the pre-ride checklist. If you haven’t put this simple procedure in your pre-ride you need too. It’ll only take one time of being stranded or a tire blowout to get your attention. Simple pre-checks can prevent a disaster on the roadway. Then there is your equipment. If you wear a helmet, how old is it? Is it time to replace it? How about riding jackets, boots, chaps, riding pants, gloves? Are they worn, torn and need replaced? Remember, not all equipment has an unlimited service life. If something needs replaced, now is the time to do it.

Second, is taking the time to warm up, both mentally and physically before getting out on the road. Go to your nearest parking lot and dial yourself in by practicing turns from a stopped position. This will help with head and eye positioning; slow speed operation to get your handling of the friction zone fine-tuned; and a few threshold braking drills to get the muscle memory of those mechanics fresh and active.

Third, when you are out on the road be actively aware of your lane position and refining that position to maximize the conspicuity to other vehicles around you. The old adage, ride like you’re invisible applies. More importantly, ride to maximize your visibility to others around you is more appropriate.

Fourth, have a survival mind-set. I talked about this in a previous Safety Tip. Bottom line, take charge of your destiny, do not let someone do it for you.

Last, but not least is training. The more competent you are in handling the bike the safer you will be out on the road. If you haven’t considered taking additional training courses to improve your technical riding skills, I would highly recommend it. At least come out for our monthly skills session where you can practice. I have always said, you will leave that session a better rider than when you came.

Continue to check out my monthly safety tips. I try to keep these current and relevant.

Until next time, Ride Safe!